Monday, March 12, 2012

Greetings from Colorado!

Erie, Colorado, to be specific. Not exactly a ski resort. But that's OK because I don't believe in skiing. My purpose here was to visit my mother for her 81st birthday. We did lots of talking, cooking, eating, and driving around the wide open highways. Such a contrast to Brookline, MA. My mother has only lived in Erie for a little over a year, so it was interesting to see how she was making her new house her home. And a big part of "Shirley's World" is her exquisite taste in decoration.

My mother is an avid collector of all things, some intentionally and some by accident because she has a hard time throwing things away. Many things in her home are things I grew up with but others she has collected in the past 35 years. It was about this time that she began collecting art pottery from the American Arts and Crafts Movement.  And any collection of pottery from this time period has to include at least one piece from the Roseville Pottery in Ohio. Mother has several pieces, but this is my favorite example, and quite typical with it's graceful lines, floral motif in relief, and blue-green glaze.  

My mother calls this type of collecting her "trash and treasure", as in "one man's trash is another man's treasure". And although pottery and ceramics from this era focused on the utilitarian and commercial, they are all certainly treasures today. Including her rather humble and brightly colored collection of hand-painted Japanese Art Deco ceramics. The following pieces all have a home on her cookbook bookshelf. Aren't these a delight!

That pepper shaker has got to be my favorite!

And no western collector of pottery is without one of these brilliantly hand-painted plates from Mexico.

This next item is much more traditional. I grew up with this one, in fact, I think it belonged to my grandmother. I don't know when it was made, but it's been around! Probably 1930s. I love the background colors and how they blend from green to orange-red and then to turquoise. And there is the interesting black part of the glaze on the edge of the cup, which almost makes it look like it was rescued from the kiln just in time! Such a beautifully unexpected touch.

So, that is the end of my show-and-tell and here is the end of the day in my mother's backyard.

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